Chimdi Chekwa

Dolphins Activate CB Chris Culliver

The Dolphins announced that they have officially activated cornerback Chris Culliver from the PUP list to the 53-man roster. In related moves, the Dolphins waived defensive tackle Chris Jones, waived/injured cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, and promoted defensive back LaFayette Pitts from practice squad. Chris Culliver (vertical)

Culliver took the practice field in mid-October, setting him up for his November return to football. Culliver tore his ACL roughly one year ago and it has been a tough road back for the veteran. This offseason, the Dolphins were desperate for help in the secondary and they signed Culliver to a one-year deal with the knowledge that he would be out for the first half of the season.

Now, the Dolphins are more in need of secondary help than ever. Star strong safety Reshad Jones has been playing through a torn rotator cuff for two years, but he pushed it too far and was shut down for the season. At corner, rookie Xavien Howard is dealing with a knee injury and Chekwa is obviously out of the picture. Now at 4-4 after beating the Jets, Culliver joins the Dolphins at a very critical time that can determine the course of their season.

Dolphins Sign CB Chimdi Chekwa

Out with the old, in with the new. The Dolphins are making serious roster changes this week, and that includes changes to their secondary. Today, the Dolphins announced that they have signed cornerback Chimdi ChekwaChimdi Chekwa (vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins Claim Bene Benwikere Off Waivers]

The addition of Chekwa comes one day after the team claimed Bene Benwikere off waivers from the Panthers. Benwikere had an awful day against Julio Jones on Oct. 2, but Miami sees that as more of an aberration than anything.

As for Chekwa, the Dolphins are pretty familiar with him after he spent the bulk of the offseason in Miami. Chekwa just missed the 53-man cut and after searching for employment over the last five weeks, he has come back to South Beach. At one point in time, the Dolphins were eyeing the 28-year-old as a potential starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Work Out Bernard Pierce

The Seahawks worked out free agent running back Bernard Pierce today, according to Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). In addition the club also auditioned six other players, all listed below courtesy of Kyed unless otherwise noted:"<strong

Clearly, Seattle is still looking to augment its backfield depth after the revelation that Thomas Rawls will be out for several more weeks while dealing with a hairline fibula fracture. Christine Michael will continue to dominate touches, and the Seahawks also boast C.J Prosise, Alex Collins, and the recently-promoted Terrence Magee on the roster.

Pierce, 25, has 359 career carries to his name, most coming with Baltimore, for whom Pierce played during the first three seasons of his career. The Ravens waived Pierce in 2015 following a DUI arrest, and he was ultimately picked up by the Jaguars. Even with a two-game suspension hanging over his head, Pierce managed to land with the Jets this offseason, but quickly was placed on injured reserve and then released.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Audition Vlad Ducasse, Others

Guards Vlad Ducasse and Josh LeRibeus joined cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and D’Joun Smith in trying out for the Lions on Friday, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link).

Vlad Ducasse

The most experienced of the four is the 28-year-old Ducasse, who combined for 78 appearances and 22 starts with three teams from 2010-15. Ducasse, whom the Jets chose in the second round of the 2010 draft, started a career-high 11 games as a member of the Bears last season.

Chekwa spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders, who grabbed him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. The 28-year-old logged 32 appearances and four starts along the way, though he was out of action in 2015 after the Dolphins cut him from their injured reserve last September. Miami brought back Chekwa to compete for a roster spot over the summer, but he didn’t make it through their final cuts.

Both LeRibeus and Smith are recent third-rounders. LeRibeus went to Washington in 2012, and after accruing little playing time in his first few seasons, he piled up personal bests in appearances (16) and starts (11) last year. The Colts selected Smith a year ago, but he spent time on IR-DTR and only played in four games. Indianapolis then waived the 23-year-old this summer, and he worked out for the Saints on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Move Roster To 53

The Dolphins have trimmed their roster to 53:

This offseason, Thomas hooked on with the Dolphins for what was to be his third stint with the team. Thomas had a path to making the 53-man roster, but his chances were hurt when the team added Arian Foster late in the offseason. In four seasons with Miami, Thomas ran for 1,480 yards off of 409 attempts, good for just 3.6 yards per carry. In 2014, he saw time in 12 games, rushing for 168 yards off of 44 carries, good for a 3.8 yard average on each try. At one point in time, Thomas was looked at as a significant piece of the Dolphins offense, but he fell out of favor in Miami and has been yo-yoed on and off the roster.

Chekwa at one point was in the mix to win a starting job with Miami. However, for one reason or another, he couldn’t make the final cut. The Dolphins now have rookie Xavien Howard back on the field and free agent addition Chris Culliver, so they have enough bodies at cornerback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Dolphins

It wasn’t a huge surprise when the Patriots dealt star defender Chandler Jones to the Cardinals this offseason. After all, the organization has multiple defenders who are impending free agents, so it was unlikely to retain the entire core. Furthermore (as Jones previously pointed out), New England doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to re-signing their own guys.

Appearing on Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, president Jonathan Kraft addressed the circumstances that surrounded the Jones trade (via’s Mike Reiss):

“We’ll end up being pretty close to the [salary] cap this year, I’m sure. Whatever money we don’t use, we roll over,” Kraft said. “We use every cap dollar that we can have, but there are just different strategies for how you deploy it. Chandler is a great football player and it will be fun to see him that opening day [Sept. 11]. And Chandler did wonderful things in the community here too; he’s a good man.”

“Obviously, when you have great football players, given the constraints of the salary cap, you want to try to keep all of them. You keep as many as you possibly can, and in some cases you have to make difficult decisions,” Kraft added. “Chandler Jones is a great football player and was an important part of the Patriots for the last [four] years. But you have to look at everything and weigh the amount of capital you’re going to have available and what all your choices are, and how deep your team is at certain positions, and what the value can be for somebody else, and how you can take that value and use it for your own team.

“That’s a good example where we tried to do something that allowed us, looking forward, to take all the assets associated with the team and end up with the best possible scenario in terms of what you could actually have on the club.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the AFC East…

  • Kraft also admitted that the Jones trade was partly motivated by future transactions. “If Chandler is going to be an unrestricted free agent … you know what, he’s going to get paid on the open market — and you look down on your roster and see who else is coming [up to free agency], and you see the type of depth you have at certain positions — if there wasn’t the salary cap, you might make different decisions,” he said.
  • Linebacker Julian Stanford is an under-the-radar player making a case to make the Jets‘ 53-man roster, Rich Cimini of tweets. A third-year free agent from New York’s Wagner College, Stanford tied teammate Rontez Miles for the most special-teams snaps in Thursday night’s preseason opener (17) and has impressed in practice. For a full view of the Jets’ depth chart, check out their page on Roster Resource.
  • Dolphins rookie safety Jordan Lucas is likely headed to the practice squad, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Assuming Chris Culliver starts the season on the PUP, the final defensive back spot could come down to Chimdi Chekwa or Brandon Harris. “Harris is a veteran guy that knows how to play,” said defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. “There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a great kid, hard worker and he knows how to play with leverage.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Minor NFL Transactions: 2/19/16

Here are Friday’s minor signings, cuts, and other transactions from around the NFL, plus a pair of notable moves from the CFL wire:

  • CFL pass rusher Tristan Okpalaugo has signed with the Cardinals, according to his agent Brett Kessler (Twitter link). Okpalaugo, who recorded 23 sacks during the past two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts, also received an offer from the Jets and visited Seahawks before choosing Arizona.
  • In addition to confirming their previously-reported deal with wide receiver A.J. Cruz, the Dolphins announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed cornerback Chimdi Chekwa to a contract. Chekwa, who appeared in 32 games for the Raiders from 2011 to 2014, was cut from the club’s injured reserve list last September, and didn’t see any regular-season action in 2015.
  • Offensive tackle Tavon Rooks, who suffered a heart attack last September in practice, was officially waived today by the Chiefs, tweets Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle adds (via Twitter) that Rooks received the non-football illness designation.
  • The CFL’s Edminton Eskimos announced today in a press release that they’ve signed former NFL players Jacoby Ford (WR) and Joe McKnight (RB). Ford, a former fourth-round pick, caught 57 balls and had four kickoff return TDs for the Raiders between 2010 and 2013, while McKnight compiled 746 yards from scrimmage in 41 total games with the Jets and Chiefs from 2010 to 2014.

Workout Notes: Bills, Boykin, Little

Here are Wednesday’s workouts from around the NFL. All links go to the Twitter feed of The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless noted otherwise:

Seahawks Work Out Robert McClain, Six Others

The Seahawks worked out a large group of players recently, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Among the attendants were running back Cyrus Gray and cornerbacks Robert McClain, Marc Anthony, Crezdon Butler, Chimdi Chekwa, Brandon McGee, and Trovon Reed.

McClain may be the most established of this group, as the former seventh-round pick played a big role for the Falcons over the past three seasons. The 27-year-old was in camp with the Patriots, but he was ultimately cut. Chekwa, a former fourth-rounder, also spent time with the Patriots this preseason, and he briefly landed with the Raiders after being cut by New England.

Butler started three games with the Buccaneers last season, compiling a career-high 14 tackles. McGee, meanwhile, only played two games in 2014, following a 2013 campaign where he made 15 appearances.

Anthony and Reed have bounced around practice squads and have yet to make an NFL appearance.

Gray spent the first three seasons of his career with the Chiefs, where he managed to rush for 99 yards on 24 carries. He’s also hauled in nine catches for 64 yards.

Workout Notes: Bears, Broncos, Packers

Here’s a roundup of today’s auditions from around the NFL. All links go to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle on Twitter), unless noted otherwise..